Just when you thought The Real Nominees of the Republican Party couldn’t get any more interesting — today is Super Tuesday, y’all!
There are 10 Presidential nominee races going down across the nation for Super Tuesday: Alaska, Idaho and North Dakota are hosting caucuses and Georgia, Massachusetts, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont, and Virginia are all holding primaries — so it’s basically March Madness politico-style!
The previous playoffs for the GOP Presidential nomination (11 states have held contests so far) have been pretty dang entertaining — plenty of debate fouls and lots of negative ad smack talk — but today should be a real buzzer beater. Super Tuesday is a hella important predictor (but perhaps not the decider) of which Republican recruit will end up in the one-on-one election match with Head Baller in Charge, Barack Obama — so it’s game ON, people.
Time to get hype for today’s political pandemonium! Here’s a quick guide to all 10 races (in order of most delegates at stake to least) plus we unveil some super celebs that hail from each state to give this Super Tuesday more flava.
+Georgia: Newt’s Peach?
The Superstar Delegate: We don’t know if the GOP field makes Usher OMG or not, but ATL is his stomping ground, so he better cast a vote in this club!
The Set-Up: Open Primary — anyone can vote, but you gotta take an oath to the Republican Party first. Kinda Game of Thrones, right?
The Prize: 76 delegates
The Past: Mike Huckabee, the former Baptist Minister and current talk show host, was the 2008 winner — Romney was third.
The Dealio: The Peach State keeps the faith — it’s the ninth most devout according to a recent Pew Study – so religion will def play a part in voters’ decisions.
The Prediction: This is Newt’s last stand, y’all — he’s been losing steam and will hang his hat on homestate hopes (he repped GA in DC for two decades). Polls show the former House Speaker with a legit lead, so he’s definitely got Georgia on his mind…but do the voters give a Newt? If not, the Gingrich is gone.
+Ohio: Battlestar GOP
The Superstar Delegate: Native rapper Bow Wow is going hard these days — but will he take a break from countin’ his cash to cast a vote in the most important race of Super Tuesday?
The Set-Up: Closed primary — only fo’ real, registered Repubs can vote.
The Prize: 66 delegates
The Past: Mitt had a rough time in 2008, earning a sad 3.3% of the vote to McCain’s 60%.
The Dealio: This is the big deal primary of the day, kids. Why? Because the Buckeye State is a battleground with a butt-ton of votes — meaning its moderate voters tend to switch party allegiances (hence the term “swing state”) unlike other stalwart red or blue states, so it can have a huge impact on who actually wins the White House. The GOP contender who kills it here will be seen as the contender best equipped to take on Obama in November, so the heat is ON in O-HIO!
The Prediction: Santorum and Romney are neck-and-neck in the polls and their Super PACs are throwin’ down moola for ads like whoa ($2.5 million total and counting). RealClearPolitics is wondering — will Ohioans go with their heads or their hearts to decide this high-profile face-off?
+Tennessee: Smokey Mountain High for Santorum?
The Superstar Delegate: Miley Cyrus can pick a Prez for the first time, but will she warm-up her political skillz by raisin’ some twang in this GOP contest?
The Set-Up: Open Primary — anyone can vote! (It’s like Ratatouille for voting!)
The Prize: 58 delegates
The Past: Huckabee first, Romney third in 2008 — just like Georgia.
The Dealio: Tennessee recently enacted a new law that requires Photo ID at the polls — which many criticize as an additional obstacle to political engagement, especially for the poor, immigrant and minority communities. Will Super Tuesday be decidedly less super with this requirement?
The Prediction: Tennesseans are a conservative crew, so they dig Santorum’s way-right rhetoric. He’s currently enjoying a fatty lead in The Volunteer State.
+Virginia…is for Lovers, or just Romney and Paul?
The Superstar Delegate: Trey Songz is a panty dropper, but is he a party hopper? As in political. As in hoppin’ to the pollz. Today. See what I did there?!
The Prize: 49 delegates
The Past: McCain ruled here in ’08.
The Dealio: It’s got some of the toughest ballot qualifications in the country, and unforch Santorum and Gingrich didn’t make the cut — so it’s a two-horse race with Romney and Paul dueling it out in ol Virginny. In such an important swing state during the presidential election, it’s a super bummer for Repubs to have some slim pickins on Super Tuez.
The Prediction: Mitt is crushing Ron in the polls, so could be a pretty boring day in VA.
+Oklahoma: Sooner Tuesday
The Superstar Delegate: Ever since Okie-born Chuck Norris got political with a Mike Huckabee endorsement in ’08, the action-hero-turned-meme has held a special place in GOP hearts. And don’t forget, he wants YOU to trigger the vote!
The Set-Up: Closed primary — only fo’ real, registered Repubs can vote.
The Prize: 43 delegates
The Past: Even with Norris ready to roundhouse the competition, Huckabee still lost out to McCain.
The Dealio: So get this — it ain’t just a GOP primary in the Sooner State. Yup, 5 brave Democratic souls are actually challenging Obama. Needless to say, that’s as far as it will go.
The Prediction: Santorum has a lot riding on a win in Okie, and he’s looking like the dude to beat so far.
+Massachusetts: This is Mitt Country
The Superstar Delegate: Dude looks like the President! Aerosmith hails from Beantown — but would frontman and Idol judge Steven Tyler sing back up the next time the former Guv busts out “America, The Beautiful?”
The Prize: 41 delegates
The Past: He once ran the state, so it makes sense that Romney ruled in ’08.
The Dealio: Santorum and Gingrich had another ballot #FAIL. It’s just Paul who remains, but Romney’s moneybags campaign isn’t even spending dough on ads they’re so confident of a landslide.
The Prediction: Pretty much a lock for Mittbot.
+Idaho…but Who’s Da Nominee?
She needs to make Twin Falls, Idaho proud (she briefly lived there)!
The Set-Up: It’s a closed caucus. Let us explain.
The Prize: 32 delegates
The Past: McCain smashed Paul at the ’08 primary polls. (Yeah, Idaho switched it up and decided to rock the caucus this year.)
The Dealio: Ron’s enthusiastic army of stans are perfectly suited for the grassroots caucus format – so the Texas Congressman is setting up his Super Tuesday HQ in the Gem State.
The Prediction: Paul really needs some delegate love from Idaho (if he wins it’ll be his first caucus win) — but with Mormons accounting for nearly a quarter of the population, Mitt has a distinct advantage over the libertarian folk hero.
+North Dakota: Energized for 2012
The Superstar Delegate: He plays a jacked up vamp on the big screen, but actor Kellan Lutz is a North Dakota boy in real life. I wonder which GOP candidate he’d like to sink his voter teeth into…
The Set-Up: It’s an open caucus. And apparently the Daily Kos, a liberal blog, wants “Operation Hilarity” in full effect so the GOP hot mess continues for as long as possible.
The Prize: 28 delegates
The Past: Romney won the most votes in ’08.
The Dealio: The boomin’ oil bidness is the name of the economic game in this state — which is why Gingrich has targeted North Dakotans with his energy policies.
The Prediction: Three out of the four Republican hopefuls have paid their respects to the Peace Garden State (betcha didn’t know that) so it’s pretty up in the air, plus the ND GOP party is looking for a record turnout. Should be a cah-razy caucus ruckus here.
+Alaska: Is Anybody Out There?
The Superstar Delegate: Alaska’s most precious export, pop country singer Jewel, had it right — politics can totally be a foolish game.
The Set-Up: Must be registered as a Republican 30 days prior to vote in their caucus.
The Prize: 27 delegates
The Past: Romney was the big winner in the ’08 race.
The Dealio: Paul thinks America’s Last Frontier could be his last hope, so he hit up events in Alaska on Sunday — the only candidate to physically set foot in the tundra state. But the other candidates are organizing remotely — Newt’s playing the energy card again, Santorum’s on the radio and Romney’s got friends in high places.
The Prediction: It’s a wild card — just ask Liam Neeson.
+Vermont: Little Big State
The Superstar Delegate: Vermont homegirl JoJo is back-back with a new single, but are any of the GOP nominees sexy to her (in a totally platonic and political way)?
The Set-Up: Open primary. Keepin’ it interesting!
The Prize: 17 delegates
The Past: McCain slayed Huckabee.
The Dealio: It’s small, but with its quirky winner-take-all system (whoever nabs 50% of the delegate votes wins it), Vermont is a big deal on Super Tuesday with so many states handing out delegates proportionally, like Ohio. The Green Mountain State is also uber liberal, so that will play a factor in turnout. And some 17-year-olds can vote in VT, so young people could really have an impact if they show up at the polls.
The Prediction: Frontrunner Romney would LOVE to take home all of Vermont’s delegates, but he’s not tracking at 50% so far.
You know what they say — it ain’t over til the fat delegate sings! And judging by this overview, it’s gonna be bonkers until the national conventions roll around this summer. Stay informed — and stay sane — by checking in with Power of 12 for all your politico needs!